Humanitarian Response : Why Age and Sex Matter

    NEW YORK (21 November, 2011): In a report launched today, leading humanitarian experts warn that aid agencies must urgently establish the differing needs of men and women, young and old people, in order to save lives and rebuild communities during a crisis.

    According to 'Sex and Age Matter', published by the Feinstein International Center in partnership with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and CARE International, there is widespread agreement on the importance of 'Sex and Age Disaggregated Data' (SADD). Humanitarian organizations now need to put long-standing lessons into practice.

    'Humanitarian response can only be truly effective when it is built around data on the very different needs of men, women, boys and girls,' said Gwi-Yeop Son, Director of OCHA's Corporate Programmes Division, who chaired the launch.' This report is hugely important in terms of clearly setting out what we need to do to improve our collection and use of this data.'

    In a series of recommendations, the study argues that aid groups need to prepare for crises more effectively by building systems which take account of age and sex, and to examine that data during the earliest moments of a disaster. The report recommends that all evaluations of major humanitarian responses contain analysis based on sex- and age-disaggregated data, to better evaluate how effectively humanitarian aid reaches the people who need it most.

    'Women and men, young and old, all have particular needs in an emergency, which must be taken into account when planning and implementing humanitarian relief,' said Robert Glasser, General Secretary of CARE International. 'Having the right data at the right time is crucial for humanitarian workers to respond thoroughly in emergency situations and empower those in need.'

    Citing examples from various crises including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, where victims were disproportionately children and the elderly, the report asserts that humanitarian organizations which do not use this data will be left with an unclear understanding of who was affected, and how and what that means for the future of surviving families and communities.

    'If I had to put my finger on one thing that will affect programming, and in terms of return for your dollar, euro, or yen, I would say collecting disaggregated data is the most efficient way to improve programmes and save lives,' said Peter Walker, author of the report and Director of the Feinstein Center.

    To read the full report , Click Here

    Read an interview with Jasveen Ahluwalia, Emergency Gender Advisor, in Dadaab Refugee Camps, as she tells us about the importance of dissagregated data in our work - 

    For more information, please contact:

     

    CARE International: Sandra Bulling, Communications Officer: tel. +41 79 205 69 51, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    OCHA: Amanda Pitt, Spokesperson: tel. +1 212 963 4129, +1 917 442 1810, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    FeinsteinInternationalCenter: Peter Walker, Director: tel. +1 617 627 3361, email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

     

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